“Spring Creations”, Landscapes at Eisele Gallery

July 1st, 2018  |  Published in June 2018

Eisele Gallery welcomed warmer weather with “Spring Creations,” featuring three regional representational artists whose paintings blended well in an exhibition on view May 11 through June 16. Because each is represented by the gallery their individual works can be seen there at all times.

Cindy Nixon’s “Northern New Mexico”

Cindy Nixon, one of this trio, gives us un-peopled landscapes that seldom show the hand of man.  The artist is out in the woods, looking at streams, exploring areas where wilderness dominates.  In “Northern New Mexico,” one of her larger works (24 x 36 inches) in this show, she does present a hint of cityscape that dissolves into suggestive strokes within a valley, rimmed by mountains behind.  “The Invaders,” despite its ominous name, actually shows a sweep of rosy flowers on a hillside as the uninvited element.  Yellows and greens, sometimes spiked with blue, predominate in many of these works. While a number of them reflect rural areas that could be Ohio, she also moves far afield:  “Fog, North Atlantic Coast” and “Northern New Mexico” are not our neighborhood.  Nixon’s well-rendered landscapes spark pleasure in the viewer.

Gail Marrison’s “Typically Tuscan”

Gail Morrison brings the viewer inside.  She is interested  not only in flowers and plants but also the containers  in which we put them.  A rocking chair piled with miscellany almost fits that category, but she gives particular attention to tea pots, pitchers, bottles, various other possible containers of flowers or other plant life.  Artichokes and roses are equally interesting to her, and a gathering of copper pots, their surfaces lovingly portrayed, gleam in the pale gray box they are stored in.

In a departure from what “Spring Creations” suggests is now Morrison’s customary subject matter, the show included a good sized (30 x 24 inch) landscape titled “Typically Tuscan,” in which a large tree rather daringly reaching nearly top to bottom in the center lines off the left side (a two or three story house) from the right side ( half sky, half landscape).  The right side takes on interest in its vertical orientation, as landscapes customarily and understandably are seen as horizontal concepts. Morrison has spent much time in Tuscany, has  led small groups of other painters in tours there, and like artists of many generations has found it a rewarding and inspiring place to be.

Jeff Morrow’s “Duck Encounter”

Jeff Morrow, the third of this trio, is also interested in buildings as well as winter shadows (trees and snow) and summer shadows (people, horses). People, in fact, are a prominent component of his work. We see a little girl and ducks on a pond in “Duck Encounter”; we see a violinist and a pianist, each making music; we see jockeys both on horseback and off. He also shows us places we know:  the Museum Center; the Genius of Water fountain, the Roebling Bridge Tower in both fog and sunshine. Morrow knows pleasant places and likes dogs as well as horses as both appear with some regularity in his work. Interestingly, Morrow’s earlier career was as a photographer and his approach to painting brings some of that aesthetic along. His frontal view of the Museum Center, for instance, is surprisingly cropped so that what one might expect to be a horizontal take is in fact a very interesting vertical.

These three artists are all proficient at their work and at their best give us things to think about. Eisele Gallery, at 5729 Dragon Way in Fairfax is one of the places where we can see local artists and their responses to places we perhaps know too, as well as what happens when they move farther afield for their subject matter.  Certainly a city needs galleries that reflect its own artistic climate; Eisele Gallery shows a particular selection for Cincinnati.

–Jane Durrell

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